Original paper

Influence of large offshore wind farms on North German climate

Boettcher, Marita; Hoffmann, Peter; Lenhart, Hermann-J.; Schlünzen, K. Heinke; Schoetter, Robert

Meteorologische Zeitschrift Vol. 24 No. 5 (2015), p. 465 - 480

50 references

published: Aug 31, 2015
published online: Jul 16, 2015
manuscript accepted: Apr 24, 2015
manuscript revision received: Feb 27, 2015
manuscript revision requested: Jan 19, 2015
manuscript received: Sep 30, 2014

DOI: 10.1127/metz/2015/0652

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Abstract

Wind farms impact the local meteorology by taking up kinetic energy from the wind field and by creating a large wake. The wake influences mean flow, turbulent fluxes and vertical mixing. In the present study, the influences of large offshore wind farms on the local summer climate are investigated by employing the mesoscale numerical model METRAS with and without wind farm scenarios. For this purpose, a parametrisation for wind turbines is implemented in METRAS. Simulations are done for a domain covering the northern part of Germany with focus on the urban summer climate of Hamburg. A statistical-dynamical downscaling is applied using a skill score to determine the required number of days to simulate the climate and the influence of large wind farms situated in the German Bight, about 100 km away from Hamburg.Depending on the weather situation, the impact of large offshore wind farms varies from nearly no influence up to cloud cover changes over land. The decrease in the wind speed is most pronounced in the local areas in and around the wind farms. Inside the wind farms, the sensible heat flux is reduced. This results in cooling of the climate summer mean for a large area in the northern part of Germany. Due to smaller momentum fluxes the latent heat flux is also reduced. Therefore, the specific humidity is lower but because of the cooling, the relative humidity has no clear signal. The changes in temperature and relative humidity are more wide spread than the decrease of wind speed. Hamburg is located in the margins of the influenced region. Even if the influences are small, the urban effects of Hamburg become more relevant than in the present and the off-shore wind farms slightly intensify the summer urban heat island.

Keywords

local climateurban climateregional climatewind energyurban heat islandnumerical model